Stranger in a Strange Land, a documentary created by Bram van Splunteren for the Dutch TV channel VPRO, offers an insight to Nick Cave’s Berlin years as the early formation of The Bad Seeds occurs.
Having spent time living in London, Nick Cave followed in the footsteps of some of his idols such as Iggy Pop and David Bowie by moving to the German capital, Berlin and performed numerous of his infamously wild Birthday Party gigs in the city.
After the Birthday Party disbanded in 1983, Cave would surround himself with the likes of Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, Rowland S. Howard, Tracy Pew and more while batting around ideas to form The Bad Seeds in 1984. Three years of building the foundations of the band, while crashing at peoples homes and living in squats across Berlin, filmmaker Splunteren would arrive in 1987 to create his documentary.
The year, which would coincidentally coincide with a time when the Bad Seeds appeared in the Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, would see Cave appearing slightly disillusioned with life in Germany. “It’s a bit sad,” he says at one point in the film. “I think it’s got its arse in the garbage can, Berlin.”
The film, partly shot in Mark Reeder’s flat where Cave was staying at the time, would go on to follow Cave playing his piano somewhere in Kreuzberg with the Berlin wall lurking the background, show early Bad Seeds rehearsals and show Cave in some more intimate surroundings.
The voiceover is in Dutch but all interviews are conducted in English. Enjoy the film, below.